Home > Features >

The Robin Hoods of Nottingham

Stuart Broad reading Duncan Hamilton’s biography of Harold Larwood © ECB Cricket

The television camera panned on to Stuart Broad reading Duncan Hamilton’s much acclaimed autobiography of Harold Larwood. Abhishek Mukherjee takes a trip down memory lane to re-live the Nottinghamshire pace tradition.

 

Long, long ago there was a man called Robin Hood who took money from the rich and gave it away to the poor. How they made merry in the Sherwood Forest those days! Even the formidable Sheriff of Nottingham or Sir Guy of Gisbourne could not conquer Robin and his party!

Then, in the early part of the twentieth century, there rose a man from the mines of Nottinghamshire. Harold Larwood was his name, and it was his sheer pace that reduced the greatest batsman of all time to human levels. With him came the southpaw, also from a Nottingham mining background: Bill Voce turned out to be the perfect foil of Larwood, and went on to join Gubby Allen with the new ball.

Then the pace dried out. The fast men kept coming, though: Keith Miller; Garry Sobers, Clive Rice; Richard Hadlee; Franklyn Stephenson; Paul Reiffel; Chris Cairns; they delivered for Nottinghamshire, and kept the tradition going; some served them for years; some had short stints; but there was never a dearth of pace.

But those men cramming up to feel in Trent Bridge were probably not happy. They wanted one of their own sons to live up to take over the new ball, terrorise opposition batsmen, run through opposition sides; and they found one in Stuart Christopher John Broad, son of the man who had helped bring the 1986-87 Ashes home with three hundreds.

Stuart Broad is certainly no Larwood; but when the television camera catches him reading Duncan Hamilton’s award-winning biography (which is unarguably one of the finest biographies in the history of the sport) of the legend, the old-timers retiring to the Trent Bridge Inn may nod their head in unison.

There may be a revival, after all.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

Moeen Ali – the part-timer keeps pegging India back with crucial wickets

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: India’s sloppy batting and other highlights of play on Day 3

Moeen Ali’s ‘Save Gaza’ wristband suspension: Cricket and political sentiments don’t mix

Denesh Ramdin: Didn’t expect Sunil Narine to bowl Super Over maiden

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Virat Kohli’s opportunity to find form

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

Harbhajan Singh congratulates wrestler Sushil Kumar for CWG 2014 gold medal

Nottinghamshire, Somerset involved in dramatic tie in Royal London One-Day Cup

India tour of England 2014: Moeen Ali is developing as a spinner with every game, says Stuart Broad

India vs England, 3rd Test at Southampton: Draw the most likely result, feels Sunil Gavaskar

Stuart Broad: To go into the company of Wasim, Waqar and Walsh, Ambrose is a huge honour

Moeen Ali – the part-timer keeps pegging India back with crucial wickets

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: India’s sloppy batting and other highlights of play on Day 3

India’s poor shot selection gives England advantage on Day 3 of 3rd Test at Southampton

‘Yuvraj, Ganguly, Zaheer and Indian team to come together in support of my charitable cause’

Moeen Ali’s ‘Save Gaza’ wristband suspension: Cricket and political sentiments don’t mix

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

India vs England, 3rd Test at Southampton: Stuart Broad lauds performance of England bowlers on Day 3

FDI in telecom jumps manifold to $1.5 billion in April-May

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display given a speed boost, prices slashed across the range

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Shah Rukh Khan wishes his fans a happy Eid-view pics!

Harbhajan Singh congratulates wrestler Sushil Kumar for CWG 2014 gold medal

Salman Khan’s Kick trailer crosses 16 million views!

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here